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Jack the Ripper vs. Dexter Morgan: a comparison of killers

What defines a serial killer? Most would believe that it is someone who kills a ton of people, but actually a serial killer is anyone who has killed three or more people in a month or more with a period of down time between the murders.

There have been so many serial killers in our world, but who is the most notorious? He's known as Jack the Ripper.

On Aug. 31, 1888, Jack the Ripper killed his first of five victims in the Whitechapel area of London, England. All five were women and all were prostitutes. Each died from having her throat slit, and all but one had her abdomen cut. Several had internal organs missing.

The last victim was killed on Nov. 9, 1888. After that, the killer was never heard from again. Even though the police had suspects, no one was ever lawfully dubbed Jack the Ripper.

 While Jack the Ripper is the most famous serial killer in the past, who is the most celebrated serial killer of modern times? He is Dexter Morgan. Luckily for the world, Dexter isn't a real person; he's the star of the TV series "Dexter."

Dexter is a vigilante of sorts. He only kills men and women who deserve to die and whose death is for the common good.

He is very methodical in his work. First, he researches a person's crimes and verifies his or her guilt. Then, he picks his kill spot -- usually somewhere away from roads and cities -- and covers the room with plastic wrap.

 When he has his prey, he confronts them before the kill, making them feel guilt over their actions. When they're dead, he dismembers their bodies and dumps the parts in the Gulf of Mexico.

It could be said that Dexter Morgan is the Jack the Ripper of today's world. Most serial killers have an almost identical criminal profile, and if we assume that profile is correct, Dexter is much like Jack the Ripper.

For instance, Jack the Ripper was believed to be a single, middle-aged man that lived alone and kept to himself. He was quiet, so many people didn't even know he existed, and people who did had never thought of him as dangerous.

Also, it is believed that he would have had a job were he would be in constant contact with blood so that it would not be strange if blood was found on his shirt. He was thought to have a domineering mother and an absent father, and he was very destructive at a young age. Most obviously, he hated women.

By comparison, Dexter Morgan is single (for the most part), middle aged and lives alone. He is a quiet person, who very much keeps to himself. He doesn't hate women, but he has no emotion, so he feels nothing for them. He is a blood spatter analyst, so he works with blood all the time.

Dexter was also shaped by his relationship with his mother, but in a different way. She was murdered in front of him when he was very young, and when he was found, he was sitting in a pool of her blood.

Jack the Ripper and Dexter Morgan seem so much alike that if Dexter had been alive in the 1800s he probably would have been Jack the Ripper -- or at least the primary suspect.

So, who is the better serial killer? Consider these facts:

  • Jack killed five women; Dexter has killed dozens of people.
  • Jack's bodies were always found. For the most part, no one even knows Dexter's victims were murdered and the bodies have never been uncovered.
  • Jack is said to be London's first serial killer. Dexter is one of many out there now.
  • Jack was never close to being caught. Dexter was.
  • Jack's name was Jack the Ripper. People called Dexter "The Bay Harbor Butcher."
  • Some of Jack's victims had internal organs missing, and people believe he took them as a souvenir; Dexter keeps a slide with a drop of the people's blood as his souvenir.
  • Analyze the two madmen yourself and decide which you think would win the prize of Best Serial Killer. There are many movies and books about Jack the Ripper; the resources are at your fingertips. And you can catch Dexter Morgan slicing and dicing every Sunday on Showtime or get caught up on past seasons on DVD.

    Which would you choose, the Butcher or the Ripper?


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